Whenever you first join BBYO, you can feel immersed in the community through people sharing their experiences, I thought that hearing about CLTC was especially impactful. When I was a freshman, hearing all of these upperclassmen who I looked up to talk about how amazing their experience was, made me want to go to CLTCwell. However, I was still hesitant because the thought of leaving home for 12 days frightened me. As time went on, many people texted me about how I would truly love the experience and that it would be the best 12 days of my life. Eventually, I got the guts and signed up.
In the months leading up to CLTC, my anxiety grew stronger thinking about how I was only one of three people from my region attending CLTC 5, one of which I didn’t even know. The more I thought about leaving for 12 days so soon, the more I found myself wrapped up in the negative. My main concern being I would have no friends there.
As soon as I stepped off of the plane into the Milwaukee airport, my anxiety immediately lessened as I found something that I was not expecting: people were excited to meet me.
As I settled into my cabin with four strangers, I strangely felt a sense of belonging. Minutes turned into days, and the entire 12 days were over before I knew it. I experienced some of the best moments I’ve ever had in BBYO, and my experiences made me excited to be a leader. CLTC taught me things about myself that I never would have known and made me a more outgoing person. I grew a new appreciation for Judaism and Israel in a way that was different to just simply praying during services. I met the best people in the world who became some of my best friends very quickly.
I soon realized that pushing past my fear of being away from home for 12 days was the best decision, and I am forever grateful for that experience.
Gabi Mitchell is a BBG from North Texas Oklahoma and has four siblings.
All views expressed on content written for The Shofar represent the opinions and thoughts of the individual authors. The author biography represents the author at the time in which they were in BBYO.
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